Series: Holloway

Review: Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection

Posted July 28, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance CollectionReviewer: Holly
The Season for Love: A Shannon Stacey Holiday Box Set by Shannon Stacey
Series: Holloway #1,
Also in this series: Lean On Me (Holloway, #2)
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: December 1st 2014
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 274
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Love!

A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes:

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent
A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton
It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey

Sometimes I like to pull out Christmas stories in the summer to get away from the heat, if only in my mind. This collection is available as one anthology or as individual releases in e-format. I’ve included links to both formats, for your convenience.

this time next yearThis Time Next Year by Alison Kent

Brenna Keating is on her way to spend Christmas with her grandmother when treacherous roads and a skittish deer put her car in a ditch. Riding to the rescue—literally—is Dillon Craig, a reclusive doctor who insists she weather the storm in his cabin.

Since returning from Afghanistan where he treated wounded soldiers on the front lines, Dillon’s made it a point to avoid any emotional involvement. But his unexpected guest has him dangerously close to breaking his own rules.

Brenna has a plan for her life—until she’s stranded for three days with Dillon. Soon, the chemistry sizzling between them forces her to reexamine her priorities. The man is gorgeous, if taciturn, and a true hero in every sense of the word. No woman in her right mind could resist him, and so Brenna doesn’t—even though she can’t stay…

Brenna and Dylan really drew me in. I loved their friendship and how the romance didn’t progress until both of them were ready. The ending felt a bit rushed, but that may just be because I wasn’t ready for the story to end. 


a rare giftA Rare Gift by Jaci Burton

With a disastrous marriage behind him, Wyatt Kent has no interest in getting involved with any woman, let alone his ex-wife’s younger sister. But when Calliope Andrews hires him to build an addition onto her day care center, Wyatt can’t help but notice she’s a desirable woman, as warm and funny as his ex was cold and aloof.

Calliope fell hard for Wyatt the first time he walked through the door of her family’s home, and can’t believe her sister let him get away. He’s still the star of all her fantasies, and she’s determined to prove to him she’s nothing like his manipulative ex. Wyatt may be all business, but Calliope sees the way he looks at her when he’s supposed to be working…

It’s not long before Wyatt and Calliope are keeping each other warm on cold December nights. But it’s going to take a Christmas miracle for Wyatt to put his trust in love a second time.

I can’t help being a little bothered by the premise. I wonder how heroine’s sister feels about baby sister dating her ex-husband? I realize time has passed and etc, but I was a little hung up on that. I liked Calliope but Wyatt was a little…one dimensional. I generally enjoy Burton’s stories, but this one fell a little flat.


its not christmas without youIt’s Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon (Holloway, Book 1) 

Carrie Anders officially broke up with Austin Thomas when she accepted a dream job in the city. Unofficially, she misses him and is tempted to sneak back to her West Virginia hometown to see him. That’s why this year, she’s not going home for the holidays. Her heart can’t take any more mornings-after where nothing has changed–and Austin has made it clear he’s not interested in relocating.

Austin’s been waiting for Carrie to realize she can’t live without him. But when he hears she’s not coming home for Christmas, he decides to take action. If Carrie won’t come to the country, he’s going to bring a piece of the country to Carrie–in the form of a Christmas tree lot just minutes from her apartment. He’s certain daily meetings will entice her to come home with him, this time for good.

Their attraction is as hot as ever, but with such contrary Christmas wishes, can either of them get what they really want this year?

 I love reunited lover stories and this one hit all the right notes. Both Carrie and Austin act a bit immature at times, but I was able to overlook that in favor of the sweet romance. 


mistletoe and margaritasMistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey  

Claire Rutledge still believes in love, despite losing her husband. So, after two years, she’s not surprised by the steamy dreams telling her it might be time to start moving on. But she didn’t expect her friend Justin to have the starring role.

Justin McCormick has loved Claire since the moment he first saw her, but his best friend got there first. Now that Claire is ready to move on with her life, Justin is finding it harder than ever to hide his true feelings. And when they both get caught up in the holiday spirits at a party, their simmering mutual attraction boils over into a night neither of them can forget…

This was such an emotional read for me. I love that Claire stood her ground and forced Justin to look at his life and his choices. I also sobbed like a damn baby at certain parts. Such a wonderful read.


This is a great collection. I enjoyed all four novellas. Each touched me in some small way. I found myself emotionally invested in all four couples, no small feat considering they’re all relatively short stories.

Overall grade: 4/5

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Lean on Me by Helenkay Dimon

Posted November 11, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lean on Me by Helenkay DimonReviewer: Rowena
Lean On Me (Holloway, #2) by HelenKay Dimon
Series: Holloway #2
Also in this series: The Season for Love: A Shannon Stacey Holiday Box Set
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: October 22nd 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 118
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Cassidy Clarke once climbed the world’s highest mountains, but after an unexpected illness ends her career she’s back in her hometown, broke and hoping for a little luck. But the townsfolk aren’t exactly putting out a welcome mat for the woman who once snubbed them in the media, despite her apologies now.

Mitch Anders knows someone has set up camp on the grounds of his plant nursery, and he’s surprised to find his sexy high school crush ducking questions about where she’s staying. Though he’s sworn to stop cleaning up other people’s messes, Mitch offers Cassidy a job and a place to stay—his place. Bedsharing optional, but definitely welcome.

Out of options and too attracted to Mitch to keep things platonic, Cassidy says yes to his offer. She wants to get back on her feet financially and start a new career. She never expects to suffer a different kind of fall, one that has her believing Mitch just might bring her something bigger and better than luck.

Out of options and too attracted to Mitch to keep things platonic, Cassidy says yes to his offer. She wants to get back on her feet financially and start a new career. She never expects to suffer a different kind of fall, one that has her believing Mitch just might bring her something bigger and better than luck.

This was an enjoyable short story by Helenkay Dimon that I thought was cute. Cassidy Clark is a famous climber that has fallen on some hard times and has come home to figure out what happens next. What she wants to do with her life now that her life has fallen into the toilet. But her step-dad is acting weird and hiding from her. She can’t stay at her childhood home and she has no money to stay at the hotel so Cassidy finds herself squatting at the town’s plant nursery…which just so happens to be co-owned by Mitch Anders. Cassidy remembers Mitch from high school but they didn’t run in the same circles so he wasn’t really on her radar back then. He’s not really on her radar now but that doesn’t stop him from putting himself there, time and time again.

Mitch has always had a bit of a crush on Cassidy Clark back in the day and seeing her now, brings that all surfacing to the top. Only difference this time around is he’s going after what he wants. When he starts to find out more about why Cassidy is back, he can’t help himself. Captain Save a Hoe to the rescue.

Mitch and Cassidy were the perfect fit for each other. They complimented each other and they just kind of fit together. I loved the way that Mitch threw himself into helping her. He was such a strong and solid presence in her life and she needed him. I was thrilled that he could be there for her because I adored him. That blip toward the end made me want to smack some sense into him but I forgave him for that because well, he’s so damn hot.  Cassidy was strong and I loved the way that she just kind of dealt with what was thrown at her, all the while still keeping a sense of humor about life in general. She was funny, she was smart and she wasn’t perfect. I liked her.

I wasn’t a fan of the way that Alan chose to deal with the whole house thing but it was dealt with and I liked that. The secondary characters grew on me as well. At first, I wanted to smack Spence upside his head but he grew on me as the story progressed.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. For such a short story, I didn’t think the story suffered at all. I was a happy camper after I finished it. Kudos to Helenkay for writing another entertaining and too cute for words story.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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